Ditch the Desk and Explore the World With Travel Photography

It was close to sunset. My tripod was set up, my settings were dialed in on my camera, and I was relaxing on a bench in a park along the river, eating delicious Basque pastries while watching busy people go by. I was waiting for the light to change.

As the sun sunk deeper and deeper into the horizon, the colors of the sky started to shift and a beautiful canvas of blue, pink, and purple appeared behind my subject: the peculiar looking Guggenheim museum in Bilbao, Spain. This was the right moment I was waiting for.

I snapped my “money-shot” of the week.

Experiencing such beautiful moments never gets tiring. And the best part? I get paid for it.

When I quit my corporate job back in 2009, I knew I wanted to earn money through photography…but I had no idea where to start. I had no background in art and no experience in running my own business. But one thing was obvious: to be a photographer, I needed photos.

So, I started traveling. First close to home, visiting familiar locations. Then farther and farther to countries I’d never been before…snapping as many photos as I could to add to my growing collection.

I shared the best photos through my website and all the different social media platforms. The more photos I took, the more my skills improved. Soon, various companies, magazines, and tourism boards started noticing my work and reached out to offer assignment opportunities. It felt like I had hit the jackpot.

My biggest assignment was offered to me thanks to one of the photos I took of the city I live in. The editor of an online booking service found an image of Granada and traced it back to me. She offered me the opportunity to travel around Spain, all expenses paid, to take photos of various cities for a tourism guide. On top of that, I was also paid around $5,000 per city to submit a set number of images.

These kinds of opportunities arise if you put yourself out there. The more you shoot, the better you become, and the more you share your images online, the higher the chance you’ll get noticed by a client looking for similar images. And even when I don’t have assignments going on, my images can still sell on stock agencies and as fine art prints online, while I plan my next trip to somewhere new.

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